We design buildings to make human lives better—but should we also design them to make bacteria healthier? A new study posits just that, suggesting that the microbial communities that live amongst us are deeply influenced by the design of our buildings. Wait—but aren’t microbes bad? Not exactly.
“Do function, form and organization predict variation in the built environment microbiome?” ask the authors of the paper, which was published on PLOS One this week. To find out, the team at University of Oregon did a fine-grained study of the school’s business complex, a 13-year-0ld LEED-certified building with 155 rooms: